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Amnesty Int’l accuses SARS of torture, extrajudicial executions

Rights watchdog, Amnesty International, on Friday accused the police Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of engaging in suspects’ torture and extrajudicial executions.

In a new report titled: “Time to End Impunity,” Amnesty also chided the Nigerian government for allegedly failing to prosecute SARS operatives for rights violations in the country.

It insisted that SARS had continued to use torture and other ill-treatment to execute, punish, and extract information from suspects.

Amnesty said it documented at least 82 cases of torture, ill-treatment, and extrajudicial executions by SARS between January 2017 and May this year.

According to the watchdog, the victims of SARS rights violations are predominantly males between the ages of 18 and 35, from low-income backgrounds and vulnerable groups.

READ ALSO: Nigerian military subjecting children to unlawful detention -Amnesty Int’l

The Country Director of Amnesty International, Nigeria, Osai Ojigho, who spoke at the presentation of the report in Abuja, described as shocking and unacceptable the Nigerian government’s failure to end rights violations by the SARS operatives.

He said: “The complete failure of Nigerian authorities to bring an end to the gross human rights violations perpetrated by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad or to bring any SARS officer to justice is shocking and unacceptable.

“Nigerians are outraged by the systemic human rights violations perpetrated by the SARS with impunity.

“The systemic use of torture and other ill-treatment by SARS officers for police investigations and the continued existence of torture chambers within the Nigerian Police Force points to an absolute disregard for international human rights laws and standards.”

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